Manly’s mega-million dollar deal with Des-tiny
The resurrection of Des Hasler is set to be completed with a new $3 million deal tying him to Manly until the end of 2024.
Hasler was forced to take a pay cut when he returned to his spiritual home at the end of 2018 after the messy end to Trent Barrett's reign.
But he is now set to cash in on the Sea Eagles' rise with formal talks beginning with the two-time premiership-winning coach.
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It's a remarkable turnaround for Hasler, who was dumped by Canterbury in September 2017, ending in an out-of-court settlement.
Sea Eagles chief executive Stephen Humphreys discussed a long-term contract extension with Hasler's manager, George Mimis, last week at a Manly restaurant.
The Daily Telegraph has been told negotiations were positive, all but ending any chance Hasler could quit the club in a repeat of what unfolded in 2011.
Manly chairman and majority shareholder Scott Penn also spoke with Hasler about the club's future just before Christmas.
Hasler is under contract until the end of next season but his 2021 contract is complex and includes an option where either party could trigger a period of notice.
A new deal would end any uncertainty.
Manly want to initially confirm Hasler for next season and then start negotiating a new deal spanning two or three seasons. A three-year contract would keep Hasler at Brookvale until after the 2024 season, when he would be 63 years old.
Mimis and Humphreys plan to hold further meetings in the next few weeks.
Penn has returned to New York - where he sends half the year - with Humphreys now assuming all negotiations with Hasler and Mimis.
Humphreys, who joined Manly as CEO in November last year, told The Daily Telegraph he hoped a deal with Hasler could be completed soon.
"George and I caught up last week," Humphreys said. "I think we have a good basis for which to progress the dialogue.
"George and I had a good conversation and I think everyone wants the same outcome - we just have to work through some detail.
"That outcome being that Des remains in place for years to come. That is the genuine feeling and sentiment I had in the conversation with George.
"They were good, positive discussions and we want the same outcomes and we hope to have Des in place for many years to come at Manly."
Mimis would only say: "There is a highly respectful relationship between the parties and it would be improper to make any comment at this stage."
Hasler did a remarkable job at Brookvale last season, taking the Sea Eagles from 15th in 2018 to sixth last season and into week two of the finals.
The TAB has Manly a $10 premiership chance this season, equal fourth on the line of betting.
Hasler won two grand finals at Manly as coach in 2008 and 2011 before joining Canterbury in 2012. He also won two premierships at the Sea Eagles in 1987 and 1996 as a player.
In Hasler's nine years at the Manly helm, spread over two coaching stints, the Sea Eagles have only twice failed to improve their ladder position on the previous season.
And one of those came in 2009, the year after they clinched a drought-breaking premiership.
"Anyone who knows our coach knows that what we've got is not enough, and not good enough," Daly Cherry-Evans said.
"I really love that we are always trying to improve. We had some really good parts of our game last year that we're trying to pick apart and make even better."